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Title: Understanding
Author: [livejournal.com profile] beatrice_otter 
Rating: G
Source: the Bible
Characters: Miriam
Warnings: none
Word Count: 685
Written For: kastaka ([livejournal.com profile] chess) for [livejournal.com profile] yuletide 2008.
Summary: For Miriam, the will of God has always been clear.


Miriam does not understand her brothers, either of them.

It is easy to understand why not with Moses; he was raised in the court of the Pharaoh and his daughter. For all Moses’ efforts he does not truly understand the people of his birth, nor do any of them truly understand him. Even his foreign wife does not understand Moses. If he were not so obviously God-touched, none of “his” people would ever follow him anywhere, much less across seas and deserts and mountains and wilderness. Because he is God-touched, Miriam understands him perhaps better than anyone else, for she is God-touched as well, and has been for far longer than he; but Moses was still raised to be an Egyptian prince and it shows, sometimes in odd ways.

It is Aaron who truly puzzles Miriam. Aaron grew up in the same home, listening to the same stories of their ancestors, learning to curse the same overseers. Miriam was the one who took care of him as an infant while their parents were working; Miriam was the one who introduced him to the woman who became his wife. There should be nothing about Aaron that Miriam does not know. The only thing that has separated them all these years is the fact that she is God-touched and Aaron isn’t. Yet now that he is, too, she understands him less than ever.

For Miriam, the will of God has always been clear. Sometimes too clear for comfort, and often incomprehensible, but she has always known what God wants, if seldom why. God’s will was as clear as day when she guided her brother’s basket up-river to the place where Pharaoh’s daughter sometimes came, and when she told Pharaoh’s daughter that their mother was a wet-nurse who could care for the child (and in the process, perhaps give him at least a small connection to his true heritage). She did not understand why until the day Moses trudged into the Hebrew slave quarters, after years of being thought dead, with those eyes, a look that is unmistakable to anyone who has ever truly seen the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Even when God does not speak directly to her (and she seldom hears that great Voice directly, and is thankful for it, for it is not a comfortable thing to bear), the will of God is always clear. It took her many years to come to terms with the fact that it is not so clear to others.

Their God moves in mysterious ways. He gives his guidance to all, even those who do not hear his voice, even to those who ignore him, even to those who are not even members of his chosen people. God works through coincidences that are not coincidence, through chance words thrown away by their speakers, through good luck and bad. God uses everyone and everything to bring about God’s will. Most people ignore his efforts, cannot see or understand them, and so God’s will is rejected, thwarted.

Miriam learned as a child that most people don’t like having the word of God pointed out to them. So she lets them muddle through on their own unless God wishes her to intervene. Often enough, they learn more for having to muddle through things on their own than if she spoon-fed them as if they were infants. It is frustrating. Miriam deals by singing songs, songs that sometimes give them the answer if they care to listen. Few do, but it relieves her feelings.

With Aaron, watching him stumble is … more painful than normal, because he has no excuse now. He is God-touched, if not so strongly as Miriam or Moses, so how he can ignore all the signs God sends his way … Miriam almost cannot bear to watch.

Instead she sings, and prays for her brother (for both her brothers) to learn the wisdom of truly following God’s will.

When Moses disappears up the mountain, and the people grow agitated, and Aaron grows fearful, and people start bringing in whatever gold trinkets they can find, Miriam prays harder.

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